Veronica Lamport December 16, 2007
Philosophy of Teaching Practices Final Exam #3
Both Plato and Aristotle argue the importance of early childhood education. They each have their own views and rational for early childhood education. For Plato, the education of the citizens and guardians begins with the youth. He wants to create an “ideal” guardian for the republic. Plato believes that the most important areas to teach first are gymnastics of the body and music of the mind. Even though, he is primarily concerned with keeping one’s soul virtuous, good, and consistently in a state of improvement. For there to be a balance in the soul there must be a balance of gymnastic and music.
Gymnastics and music are introduced first in his education regime because these are the elements that support the soul. He suggests that a good soul gives the ability to produce a good body and in contrary a good body improves the soul. There is never to be an unbalance of gymnastics or music. Plato believes too much of the gymnastic element, “the soul is boorish and savage.” To achieve the ultimate state of the soul, there needs to be a harmonious blending and balancing of the two elements. This alone will produce a guardian for the republic that is desirable.
In Book Eight of Politics, Aristotle presents an interesting view on the education of youth. He proposes that the citizen should be taught to benefit the government he lives in and that education should be a matter solely of the state. He feels very strongly about public education evident by his words; “That education should be regulated by law and should be an affair of state is not to be denied, but what should be the character of this public education, and how young persons should be educated, are questions which remain to be considered.” (Book VIII, Part II). He lets us know that varied opinions will spark debate. He also divulges into the major areas of study in reading and writing,...